March 30, 2001, 2:30 PM — The second component of Lotus Development Corp.'s knowledge management system code-named Raven has been delayed again.
The IBM subsidiary confirmed today that it will delay the final release of its already late Discovery Server software by one month to improve some of the product's user profiling abilities.
In January, Lotus CEO Al Zollar promised the software would ship this month. "I know this product is overdue," Zollar said at the company's Lotusphere user conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "No one knows this better than I do."
Scott Cooper, senior vice president of knowledge management at Lotus, said today that the new delay was prompted by results from beta testing of the software. "It's not bugs [or] the scalability," he said. "It's how well we build expertise profiles."
The problem wasn't foreseeable in the laboratory, Cooper said, but only became apparent after beta users tested the product. The server searches a company intranet to find information in collaborative applications that will let users locate files and experts in certain fields and share information instantly with colleagues, among other things.
The more a user acquires a certain kind of information, the more "expert" he becomes in that area and is thus listed as a resource. But in the testing, "we found down the road that real-life users were associated with categories they shouldn't be," Cooper said.
So, Lotus developers are back at work creating the algorithms that will correctly match experts with their fields of expertise. Cooper said the beta testing will continue until the newly scheduled release of Discovery Server's gold code on April 30.
The Discovery Server sorts data for users to access and is meant to work with the K-station portal builder, which was released in December. Together, they form Lotus' knowledge management system, known as the Knowledge Discovery System.
Cooper said implementing the gold code for those who have already installed the beta version shouldn't be difficult and only involves one relatively small build on the existing server software.